Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Stephen Hawking auction of personal items raises $2.48m

Stephen Hawking auction of personal items raises $2.48m

The sale raised money for two charities, including one belonging to the British physicist.

The wheelchair of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking just sold at an auction for almost $400,000.

The auction was titled as "On the Shoulder of Giants" which is a reference to the famous phrase once used by Newton: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants".

The Auction House Christie's Head of the Books and Manuscripts department, Thomas Venning said to a media that the legendary Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide and had an wonderful ability to connect with people with his brilliance and knowledge over science. The chair was initially expected to sell for roughly between $13,000 and $20,000.

Other items sold in the online auction were linked to Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.

His dissertation of 117 pages named "Properties of expanding universes" was sold for 584,750 pounds. It was sold for almost twenty times what it was expected to snatch at auction, and its sale will benefit both the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

When Cambridge University made the 1965 work, Properties Of Expanding Universes, available online previous year, demand was so great that it crashed the website. The work is signed twice by the physicist and includes the notation, "this dissertation is my original work". "He had this wonderful ability to connect with people", Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's London, told Reuters ahead of the event.

A red leather wheelchair that Hawking used from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, driving himself using a joystick, sold for £296,750 while an early edition of his bestselling book A Brief History of Time marked with a thumbprint, fetched £68,750. Christie's was handling the negotiations to hand it over to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.

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